US man stabs cabbie for being Muslim

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by nrj, Aug 27, 2010.

  1. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    WASHINGTON: It's a slash that has cut deep into New York City's storied reputation as the world's greatest ethnic and cultural melting pot.

    A crazed, and possibly drunk, 21-year old wingnut pulled a knife on a New York City cabbie and slashed him multiple times during evening rush hour on Wednesday after inquiring if he was a Muslim.

    The incident, coming amid a fervid debate over a proposed mosque close to the site of the 9/11 tragedy, sparked off an tortured debate about possible growing Islamophobia in the United States, even as it stunned the city known as Big Apple, almost 40% of whose residents are foreign-born and hail from nearly every corner of the world.

    Michael Enright's cab ride after he hailed the taxi driven Ahmed Sharif, a 44-year old Bangladeshi immigrant appears to have begun calmly enough. Enright actually greeted him with a "salaam aleikum" and inquired about how the holy month of Ramzan was going for him.

    At some point, the young man began making fun of Ramzan, upon which Sharif says he went quiet to avoid any further aggravation. But as the traffic inched down on Third Avenue, close to a block lined with Indian and Bangladeshi eateries, Enright began some soldierly shouting and cursing at Sharif.

    Yelling "This is a check point...I have to bring you down, mo..fo", Enright pulled out a knife, reached across a plastic divider that typically screens drivers from passengers and slashed Sharif across the throat and his hands as they went up in protection. He then bolted from the cab in slow moving traffic. Police officers alerted to the incident by a bleeding Sharif apprehended Enright, who claimed the cab driver had tried to rob him.

    After a psychiatric evaluation, Enright was charged with second-degree attempted murder as a hate crime, first-degree assault as a hate crime and criminal possession of a weapon, and held without bail.

    It turns out that Enright is an aspiring film-maker who was working as an unpaid intern at an internet media company and working on a documentary on Bravo Company, a US Marine group also known as Lava Dogs. He spent several weeks embedded with them in Afghanistan earlier this year. But nothing in his behavior then or later appeared to suggest he had any anti-muslim prejudice, his friends and employers said.

    The incident stunned New Yorkers, including the community of 44,000 licensed cab drivers, nearly half of whom are from the Indian sub-continent. Typically, as many visiting Indians discover, there is an even chance that the driver of cab one hails in NYC speaks Punjabi or Bengali. A contrite mayor Michael Bloomberg said the episode went against everything the city stood for, even as questions raged about whether the attack was a sign that the mosque debate was getting out of hand.

    The irony was that Sharif had frequently expressed himself against the proposed mosque near the 9/11 site.

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  3. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    If it was other way around then you could only imagine what the reaction would have been.
     

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